I love your blog, i am just wondering what are your views on the way the body (I’m talking in context of Sarah Baartman and the representation of other black women) is represented in visual culture, and how has it upheld and challenged the beauty ideals of the time in which they were made and it’s affect on how society perceive black women today.

Black women are the only women who went from the very template of the human form and beauty, to chattel (non-human property), to full reclamation and assertion of not only her humanity but her place as the mother of all humanity, the mitochondrial eve.

Being such a powerful figure in human history, in human evolution, in the decline and rise of the African Global Community, and the rest of human civilization; the Black woman’s form is bound to evoke strong and even strange responses. 

The West has always had a perverse fascination with the Black form, in all of its manifestations; Jeru the Damaja summed it up in one line: “…mock my appearance yet yearn for my essences.”

From Sarah Baartman to Lupita the West has displayed it toxic attraction/repulsion, deification/degradation, exposure/suppression impulses towards Black womenAlthough the terms and manifestations of the toxic Western impulse have change, the impulse is as strong and pervasive as ever.

So we still see this toxic impluse in all Western media, but the community is better at reconizing and opposing these representations.  The West has used Black writers, actors, dirctors, authors, artist, etc. to produce these works to feed their toxic impulses since the 70s after the Black Power and Black Pride movements stop them from creating the works themselves.  So Lee Daniels is little more than Cecil B. Demille in Blackface.  So now we have to internally deal with those who “put us on display” and sell us to others in the media and society. 

The one arena where White males can still be honest and fully manifest their toxic impulses towards Black women in particular (and all women in general) is in the Porn Industry; you’ll find in the production and consumption of modern porn the same shit you’d find on late nights on the Plantation grounds when Massa ventured into the Slave Quarters prior to our Emancipation.  Many promeint historians have discovered that the preservation of their absolute Sexual dominace and acess to Black women was one of the key motivators of Southern men in fighting the US Civil War. It’s really sick, but very telling. 

Also, in women’s prisons in the US, and the Global Sex Trade (where men from rich Western nations use the so-called 3-World as sexual playgrounds), founded and fueled by White males, you’ll find that the behaviors and impulses are as strong as ever, only better hidden.

That coupled with the objectification and commodification of Black women within the systems of Capitalism has presented Black women with a monumental challenges. 

Every man in the community is either an ally of Black women against these challenges or her enemy, there is no neutrality or in-between.

The bigger tragedy is, as Black men we have overwhelmingly decided to Integrate with and attempt to secure a better standing within the Systems and Institutions of White Domination; so we’ve too often joined the West in commodifying Black women.  Black men ape White men in hope that it will bring us the Power and Wealth we attribute to them; and the toxic impulses towards Black women are central to Black male mimicking White males.

But the New Negros, Uncle Toms, and the Integrationist males are not the only men in the community guilty of this.

Some, who imagine that they are Positive, or Black Nationalist put a sick spin on the West’s treatment of Black women.  They work to “take the Black woman back,” to “fight the White man for ownership of the Black woman,” which they view as the rightful property of Black men, which White men have stolen from us. 

Instead of allying with and being a partner with the Black woman in our mutual struggle, they seek to simply impose Black male domination where there was once White male domination.  This is the ultimate betrayal.  I swear, if you look at the Puritans, or other deeply Western/Arab cultures and their attitudes towards women, you will find Black Nationalist who hold those same attitude but swear they are being African Centered, or Black Nationalist.  Then they have the nerve to demand that the Black woman submit, and bury these issues in the name of Black Unity, that shit would be comical if it were not so damaging to us as a whole.

So, as we were invaded, colonized, enslaved, and still oppressed by Sexist cultures, anti-Sexism is the only legitimate position of any Black person who claims to oppose White Domination and seek Black Liberation.

I hope I came close to shedding some light on this issue, my first response was twice as long and still too short.  That’s a heavy question and issue you presented; but one we should be dealing with in all corners of our community.